How do you fix neutropenia?

How do you fix neutropenia?

Humans need to have good health to be able to live a good life. Humans are prone to sickness especially when the human does not practise good eating habits and not having a good physical activity. Sickness in humans can be evaluated with blood tests done by health services. One of the results from a blood test which is neutropenia can cause worries or a concern to those who have it. Throughout this article we will learn more about neutropenia.

Before we go further on neutropenia, do you know that it is the white blood cells that are affected in such a condition? White blood cells play a great role in defending the body against many infections and diseases. White blood cells are considered to be the body’s immune system. There are a number types of white cells known as granulocytes, monocytes and lymphocytes. Granulocytes can contain neutrophil, eosinophil and basophil. Neutrophil is the most abundant type of granulocyte as it makes up 40 to 60% of all granulocytes in the human body. Neutrophil can be considered vital in the immune system as it ingest, kill and digest microorganisms from being able to infect humans. When we talk about neutropenia, we are referring to the neutrophil count in the blood.

Neutropenia is a condition where the number of neutrophils is low in the blood. The normal count of neutrophil is above 1.5 x 10/L or 1500/mcL. The normal count of neutrophil usually is stated in the laboratory blood test results. When the number of neutrophils is lower than the normal count, this is considered as neutropenia. It is worth noting that neutrophil counts can be unstable when compared to other cell counts and vary over short periods such as from medication taken, activity done or anxiety.

Neutropenia can be classified as mild which often causes no symptoms, moderate and severe. This classification helps to give clues on the progression to infection in concordance to the number of neutrophils. In other words, severe neutropenia will lead to higher chances for severe infections. Mild neutropenia is between 1000 to 1500/mcL, moderate neutropenia is 500 to 1000/mcL and severe neutropenia is below than 500/mcL. It is said that neutrophil count of lower than 500/mcL can cause the microbial flora such as in the mouth that was once healthy to be causing infections. Ironically, neutrophil below 200/mcL may actually mute inflammatory responses which cause the findings for high white blood cells in urine or other sites of infection made impossible.

There are many causes that can leads to neutropenia. Causes for neutropenia can be divided into two which are acute neutropenia and chronic neutropenia. Acute neutropenia occur within hours to days that is caused by rapid neutrophil use or destruction and impaired production of neutrophil. Chronic neutropenia lasts for months and up to years, typically causing reduced production of neutrophil or excessive splenic action. In general, neutropenia is caused by chemotherapy as half of cancer patients who went for chemotherapy does experience neutropenia. There is also condition known as congenital neutropenia which is considered normal despite slight low neutrophil count. Neutropenia may also be caused my medications used apart from infections. Thus, this shows that there are many causes for neutropenia and the condition itself might not be the only clue in diagnosing a disease or health condition.

Neutropenia often does not cause symptoms until infection occurs. At times, fever is the only symptoms that could indicate there is neutropenia. Other symptoms such as pain, swelling and redness can occur in severe neutropenia.  There may be a development of ulcers in the mouth, but they are usually unobtrusive. History of recurrent infections, infections by rare bacteria or fungi and frequent use of antibiotics and antifungals are clues for neutropenia. The best way to know if neutropenia occurs is to get checked by doctors and get a blood test.

To fix neutropenia is not a one size fits all kind of treatment. Treatment in fixing neutropenia will depend on the underlying disease or the diagnosis made. Antibiotics are often given when there is proof of bacterial infection. Those who need to go for cancer treatment might have to delay the treatment in order to allow the body to recover the white blood cells. Myeloid growth factors are substances that stimulate production of white blood cells by affecting the bone marrow. This is also known as growth factor or colony-stimulating factors (CSFs). Myeloid growth factors help to prevent infections in patients after a cancer treatment or a transplantation. If there is fever or low blood pressure, this could be a sign of serious infection and often need intravenous antibiotics in hospitals. Antifungal may be used to treat fever that persists more than 3 to 4 days after antibiotic therapy that does not help to reduce fever. Splenectomy may be considered in patients with painful splenomegaly or with severe neutropenia. Beside treatment from health professionals, practising good hygiene can mitigate the risk for severe infection.